Anchorage skier Holly Brooks is taking a three week break from the World Cup tour. The Alaska Pacific University racer is spending the time in Italy and Austria, recuperating from a broken wrist. With some good rest, she is hopeful she can heal enough to race again next month with a goal of making the U.S. Ski team next season.
Early on, Holly Brooks was having a break through season on the World Cup tour. She had only intended to race in Europe through mid-December. But her results were so strong, she was invited to stay and race the remainder of the season. But on Christmas day in Italy, she encountered some bad luck.
“I went on a run on an icy road, right before Christmas dinner and slipped on the ice, caught myself with my hand and I knew right away that something was wrong for sure.”
Brooks had fractured the bone at the end of her forearm. Most people would put it in a cast for six weeks. But Brooks raced through the grueling nine event Tour de Ski. She says it was painful, but tolerable.
“In the day to day movement its not that bad, but I’m really looking forward to a period where I don’t have to put a lot of stress on the bones. You know you don’t really want to have any physical detriment when you’re trying to race the World Cup so I’m really trying to heal it up and get back to the races.”
Brooks has a custom made cast that even allows her to swim. She’ll still train during this break from racing, but will protect her wrist. She hopes to get back to World Cup competition in early February in Rybinsk, Russia. If she skis strong the rest of the season, Brook’s is hopeful she’ll be named to the U-S Ski team next season. She says its been an exciting winter.
“I’ve raced in six countries since departing Anchorage in November and had a chance to test my fitness against the best in the world and see some of the coolest places in the world at the same time. So all in all, its been really rewarding and I’ve been really happy with it, despite the injury.”
It hasn’t been cheap though. Brooks is paying her own way on the World Cup, with help from friends, family and her old ski clubs in Washington state. She says it is costing around 20 thousand dollars.